Parabens and Cancer

What are Parabens?


Kilograms of parabens produced

Globally, this year

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TheWorldCounts, 24 April, 2014

What are Parabens?

Parabens are used as a preservative in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. They are also used as food additives. Due to their low cost and their efficiency as a preservative, they have been used for a long time without any issues. 

Lately however, Parabens have become increasingly controversial. In a research released last 2012 in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, researchers looking into the connection between parabens and cancer have found traces of parabens in breast cancer tumors.

Parabens also mimic the properties of Estrogen, which is alarming because estrogen plays a huge part in the growth of Cancer.

Should you really be concerned?

60% of the substances  we put in our body are absorbed by our skin. Just imagine how many products we rub or spray on it daily - soap, make-up, lotions, deodorants and a host of other beauty products essential to our daily grooming. The chemicals in these products enter our bloodstream through our skin. 

According to the latest report by the FDA, as of this time, there is no definitive link between Parabens and cancer. They are continuing their studies and examining new data in this area until they find conclusive evidence either way. 

But the result of the toxicology report on the presence of Parabens in breast cancer tumors has caused a lot of concern. Paraben is very widely used that as of this writing, 2 million kilograms of parabens have been produced globally, and counting. Just take a look at the ingredient of your make-up or lotion and you will find the word paraben somewhere there.

Another study found traces of Parabens in the urine of male subjects a few hours after they rubbed lotions with Paraben on their skin. They concluded that if it can be absorbed, metabolized and excreted, then long term use might have adverse effects on the body.

The American Cancer Society states that the Estrogen properties of parabens is a possible cause for concern, but to date, more extensive studies need to be made.

What should you do?

While the debate is ongoing, do you really want to risk it? Cancer is a serious, life threatening disease. We haven’t found a sure cure for it yet. Is it really worth taking the risk just to be beautiful and smell good?

It’s a good thing that a lot of companies are now making Paraben-Free products. You will see a lot of organic cosmetics and deodorants and products boasting about being Paraben-Free. If you are concerned about getting cancer – and we all are – then it wiser to stay on the safe side and avoid products containing paraben until it is declared as safe.


  1. Wikipedia: Paraben
  2. Take Part: New Cancer Risk: Are Parabens the new BPA?
  3. Best Health: Parabens: What are they and are they really that bad?
  4. Canadian Cancer Society: Antiperspirants, parabens and breast cancer

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